Recently a local church group was en route on a mission trip when they had a blowout and the van ended up on its side in the median. Luckily no one was injured but the van was a total loss. After the inspection is was revealed that the van had two retreaded tires on the back, so here is a two part article about the most important part of your vehicle…your tires.
Cars and trucks need replacement parts from time to time. But how do you prioritize these items? What’s the most important? This might seem like a straightforward question on the surface, but after asking around to my fellow mechanics and car enthusiasts, I’ve heard many different answers.
Some think that motor oil is the most important purchase. It’s a fair point, as an engine without oil will not last long. Some say fuel. Granted, fuel is a very important purchase. Once again, without it, you won’t get very far.
But, when I think about this question, I think about the one purchase you can make for your vehicle that may have the biggest impact. Something that can affect the vehicle as a whole and not just one aspect of its operation. My choice affects just about every aspect of the vehicle: fuel economy, noise, handling, braking, acceleration, suspension, ride quality, as well as the overall driving experience. My answer: tires.
Tires can have an impact on everything I just mentioned. The rolling resistance of the vehicle can affect fuel economy, says Edmunds. There are even some tires designed to be more aerodynamic, helping make your vehicle even more efficient. Typically, the quality of the tires can impact handling and the overall ride quality of your vehicle, says Motorweek.
Stopping distance and the handling of your vehicle are directly influenced by its tires, according to Michelin. After all, your vehicle only touches the road in four spots. You could say that nearly everything about your vehicle is dependent on its four tires.
What Tires Should You Buy for Your Vehicle?
Different vehicles require different types of tires, and different weather conditions can also play a factor. I highly recommend you do your research when purchasing tires. Some tire retail websites list consumer testimonials and in-house testing results for the tires they sell. You can consult your local tire retailer for tires with the right characteristics for your vehicle and your needs.
One final note. When purchasing tires, I suggest you purchase a set of four. You may also want to have your suspension checked and get your vehicle aligned when purchasing tires. It can help customize the way your car sits on its tires, limiting uneven tread wear, pulling, and vibration, says Bridgestone. Also, keep your tires inflated to their proper pressures according to the manufacturer.
That way, you can help protect what I consider to be the most important purchase for your vehicle, and help ensure the best driving experience possible.